6 Tips to Get Your Car Ready for SummerJune 09, 2015
You’ve heard of “winterizing” your vehicle, but how about “summerizing”? A lot is made about preparing a vehicle for winter roads, from snow tires to anti-freeze and a complete tune-up. However, vehicles deserve that type of attention year-round, especially as the seasons shift from the colder, rainier spring to the hotter, dryer summer.
Here are six tips you can use to get your vehicle ready for summer:
1. Check your cooling systems
Overheating can be a big problem in the summer. Plenty of vehicles break down because the cooling system isn’t working properly. Before you hit those hot summer streets, make sure your vehicle has the right level of coolant and check to see if your radiator is in good working order. You may also want to consult a professional to check out more complex cooling systems, like belts, clamps and hoses.
Of course, there is one “cooling” component you can check yourself – the air conditioner. Turn it on! You may not have used it since last summer, and simply running it will let you spot any foul odors, damaged components or other problems that you can fix now, before the hottest months set in.
2. Change your oil
The recommended amount of time between oil changes is on the rise, with many vehicles able to go roughly 5,000 miles on conventional oil or upward of 7,500 miles on synthetic oil. However, the summer months are when many drivers bring out their trailers, boats, luggage and other heavy baggage. This puts extra strain on a vehicle, which is why changing your oil is a smart choice before the summer, whether or not you’ve hit your mileage cap.
3. Check your tires
Cold weather makes tires deflate, which is why your owner’s manual recommends more pressure in the winter. Warmer air makes tires do the opposite, though, which means the tire pressure you currently have could soon be too high for the temperature. This has a couple of negative effects:
- Uneven wear
- Possible damage
- Potential blow-outs
Therefore, you’ll want to consult your owner’s manual for the proper tire-PSI for summer, and then inflate – or deflate – accordingly. Also, if you’re still running on winter-only tires, now is the time to change over to summer tires.
4. Wash your car
You may be a serial car-washer, but many people overlook this important – yet simple – part of vehicle maintenance. The winter is rough on vehicles. Snow, road salt and dirt all build up on and under your vehicle. A good washing will remove all that and make everything shine. Not only that, but a clean car can even run better, if all that grime ended up all over the engine. It will definitely help you diagnose leaks or other problems.
“Use the summer as a reminder to inspect your vehicle.”
5. Check or change your battery
Many vehicles have batteries that can withstand the test of time, but it is always a good idea to check it over. Be on the lookout for corrosion or leakage. You can also check the fluid levels – batteries use distilled water. If the water levels are low, you can top it off with distilled water to ensure everything stays working properly. While a dead battery is certainly a winter-weather nightmare, it can happen during the summer too.
6. Review your auto insurance
While not directly a vehicle safety tip, the summer is the perfect time to look over your auto insurance. Why? Because many people have a “set it and forget it” policy when it comes to insurance. They buy, and then they pay their monthly bill. However, things can change that could lead to you getting a better deal. You may have new discounts, or you could even want to switch providers altogether. So, use the summer as some motivation to compare auto insurance quotes and see if you can save some money.
Then, both your wallet and your vehicle will be protected. Safe summer driving is just as important as safe winter driving, and while the weather is better, vehicle maintenance is still a must. Look over your vehicle and stay on top of any fixes or repairs you can do today.